ING Bank, just as any other, is just an unnecessary middleman between you and many crowdfunding options. Today, we have things like the Lighthouse, WeiFund or Koinify, which try to help those seeking to receive crowdfunding for interesting projects. There is no need for using centralized crowdfunding anymore, nor is there a need for banking assistance in doing so.
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ING wants to be an intermediary between you and the crowdfunding platforms, as stated on its official website. The bank offers an “alternative source of finance” and “exclusive features” for clients who want to try out the crowdfunding idea but are too scared to type some words into a search engine.
Belgian ING wants to show that “trust” and “support” are the main keywords in crowdfunding deeds; despite that, you need no trusted intermediates to achieve a real support. They are ready to go so far to capture you into their web of dependencies, but their plan is too entertaining to be taken seriously.
What Do Banks Offer You?
Here are some explanations from the bank’s website about which “old features” the new “crowdfunding idea” comes from:
Trusted partners: “ING ensures that you work with partners with a wealth of experience and international outreach.”
The bank will ”help” you with choosing one of their two ensured partner companies: KissKissBankBank and Seedrs. Does this mean that we need to close the IndieGoGo and Kickstarter websites because ING bank isn’t sure about them?
Multiple types of finance: “You can combine a classic ING loan with crowdfunding to get your project off the ground.”
Crowdfunding was created as a free and more transparent alternative to bank loans. Why combine the two like oil and water? It’s just crowdfunding!
Support throughout the process: “The platforms’ experts are there for you throughout your entire project.”
Is this is a bug or a feature? Because we already have this feature on other old school platforms. Looks like its a creative bug.
Increased publicity for your project: “Your project is presented to a wider public, which enables you to test it and get feedback.”
Publicity comes out of crowdfunding, not vice versa. The crowdfunding itself is important; publicity is a consequence, not a feature here.
A community of promoters: “Contributors personally invest in your project and talk to those around them to ensure its success.”
This idea, however, is very old, and banks have nothing new to contribute. Such a conclusion also may come when reading the ING website in general.
The bank says that it can help businesspeople with starting their projects by offering a different way of gathering money. But let’s look at this offer in detail.
There are 4 types of funding available on both platforms:
Donation, where a contributor receives nothing and just wants to support the project he or she likes. ING points out that this option is often used only by “artistic” projects, charities and organizations. Businesspeople are likely to use the other options below.
Compensation, where contributors receive a material compensation. Depends on the type of a project.
Investment, where contributors can receive a share in the company.
Loans, where a contributor is refunded within a defined timeframe with or without interest.
- KissKissBankBank is a platform for small projects and individuals. The creator of a project pays a 5% commission for this opportunity and also 3% for transaction costs. An interesting fact is that the project must obtain 100% of its objective, or it will be cancelled and all money reimbursed to the donors. Donations start from 1 euro, and each contributor receives compensation for his or her effort. Clients will get support here before and during the campaign. Registered users are symbolically called “Kissbankers.”
- Seedrs is a platform for startups and SME‘s, and to start a campaign your project must demand more than 30,000 euros. The project owner pays a maximum commission of 7.5%, and receives some “legal documents” about the whole campaign. Projects here must also obtain 100% of their target sum within 60 days. If it does so, contributors can become a shareholders in the company. If it doesn’t, the project will be cancelled. Donations from as low as 10 euros are accepted here. Clients can get support before, during and after the campaign.
ING bank in general tries to seduce clients with ”professionals in crowd funding,” ”trusted partners and specialists,” and other meaningful slang. In fact, when using any of the existing crowdfunding platforms, a user already has all the information and control features needed to successfully finish the campaign. So there is no trust needed. While the whole world moves forward, why is ING trying to reinvent the wheel?
Anyway, you must contact your bank liaison in order to begin presenting your project to all those middlemen. When the bank ensures that it’s worth starting a crowdfunding campaign, the liaison will send you an email with all the instructions for reaching one of two crowdfunding platforms they choose for you.
When you do so, a platform expert will help you prepare your project’s file and other things. “Amazing” feature: ING clients can submit a file to a crowdfunding platform through a simplified procedure, created especially for them. When everything is ready, a campaign will be presented to a “diversified public” from Belgium and abroad.
There looks to be a cloud of negative comments from Belgian clients on the web that is much more truthful than powdered cliche pics. Different countries, different banks, but it’s always surprisingly the same negative feedback from local people.
When using an ordinary crowdfunding platforms, you have to trust people with holding money and processing transactions. You also need to fit some requirements, such as being a citizen of a proper country or having a debit card for payouts. Also, you can’t use the Bitcoin system for collecting funds.
With the help of smart contracts, money becomes programmable and easily manageable. While in business, they can never be owned by you and controlled by another person. It’s only the mediators that can be used to decide whether the project is ready or not.
Advantages of using a bank for traditional centralized crowdfunding look meaningless. But there are decentralized solutions available — like Lighthouse — in a scary ocean of banksters. It serves users with no third parties involved and is using the features of blockchain technology to provide a 100% safe way to collect money.
People from WeiFund want to be able to decentralize everything on the planet (as seen from their
promo-video). Its an Ethereum based platform, which uses equity and token systems. They claim to be the first fully-modular and extensible service in the field, where all the transferred data is 100% secured with cryptography.
Koinify uses dApps, which stores their logic and critical data in decentralized, un-hackable networks. Transparency, trust and security is what you’ll find when using this service.
Decentralized crowdfunding means that almost everything is possible (or should we say — programmable?) and such a unique features available for you:
- If a campaign isn’t finished, contributors can revoke their payments
- The campaign owner can take everything he raised with no additional cost, except Bitcoin’s native fees.
- While using Bitcoin cold wallets, multisig contracts and many other features of decentralized systems for holding funds, your money cannot be stolen by hackers.
- Banks won’t block your accounts if their “finance monitoring security service” notice a huge inflow of dollar payments from other country, thus you wont be bothered with a long procedure of visiting your local branch of the bank and explaining where do these money came from and why.
- When you use a decentralized platform, you have more responsibilities for what you and your contributors do, but at the same time you’re not using a company service, or a bank’s website, or other third-party features. You only use a certain open source desktop app, as well as all other system participants.
There are a lot more platforms waiting for you in future. Programmers will develop many applications for doing decentralized things.
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Source: ING BELGIQUE
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